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Commission hopes sides in Cyprus will accept UN proposal
2003-02-28 11:25:52

by Nicos Bellos -- Brussels, Feb 28 (CNA) - The European Commission hopes that the two sides in Cyprus will accept a proposal by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to reply positively by March 10 at The Hague about signing a commitment to submit the Foundation Agreement on a political settlement to approval at separate referenda on March 30.

The Commission assures that there would be no problem with the timetable for preparations to sign the Accession Treaty of ten new EU members, including Cyprus, on April 16 in Athens, current EU president.|

A spokesperson said the Commission is in close contact with the UN and supports all its initiatives on the Cyprus problem.

The Commission also hopes that the two sides will seize the opportunity presented by Annan's peace plan, which the UN Secretary General has handed to the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides.

The spokesperson clarified that the short extension of the February 28 deadline for an agreement on Cyprus would not cause problems to preparing the Accession Treaty and signing it on April 16 in Athens, because in its initial planning, the Commission had taken into consideration the possibility of a short delay in the UN chief's deadline.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. On April 16, Cyprus is due to sign the Accession Treaty with the EU, after being invited to join the bloc during the December 2002 European Council in Copenhagen.

CNA/NB/RG/MM/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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